Report: Consumers face challenges using chatbots to resolve queries


With more customers using chatbots to resolve issues during the recent lockdown, they admitted to facing challenges in using AI-enabled chatbots to resolve their queries across brand websites, said a report from WATConsult, a Dentsu India owned digital marketing agency.

The report surveyed over 700 people across the country in April-May 2021. The findings stated that though 97% customers admitted using a chatbot online, more than half the customers said chatbots did not understand the queries. 47% said chatbots did not provide precise answers and took a longer time to process and respond to the query (44%).

Around 35% customers surveyed said that they got their queries resolved through chatbots, while 22% said that they have to call customer care because the chatbot couldn’t resolve the query.

Chatbots, with the use of advanced techniques like artificial intelligence and machine learning, interact and communicate with online visitors of a brand website. These chatbots understand basic language and communication and respond with multiple suggestions.

While they ease the customer care process, the report highlighted that brands should invest in building bots with an option to connect with human customer service agent, give relevant responses, help make bookings/purchases as well as an easy to navigate interface. Brands should let customers know that they are interacting with a robot to improve the experience.

Customers did agree that chatbots help them in resolving queries outside human working hours, but that brands need to invest better programmed chatbots that do not create chat loops.

Around 45% customers said that they often feel frustrated when chatbots give irrelevant responses to the queries. Most of the customers belonging to the 46 to 54 age group feel that the chatbots do not solve their queries.

In terms of industries, chatbots are most used by e-commerce and entertainment (37%) followed by banking (36%) and retail (34%). The most asked questions are about shipping or return policies and speaking to customer service agent (44%), resolving an issue related to order (41%) and asking a question about a product (40%). However, key challenges that customers highlighted about chatbots include inability to understand the query (51%), lack of precise response (47%) and long wait period for response (44%).

A well-programmed chatbot becomes an essential element to maintain and retain customers. They can build credibility and trust in the brand. Businesses need to improve their chatbot programs regularly by using the conversation logs and live chat information to train their chatbot over time and improve its functionalities and performance.

Heeru Dingra, chief executive of WATConsult, said that customers need to get their queries resolved quickly, efficiently and accurately without wasting time. For this, businesses can have different approaches, such as live chat, chatbots or implementing a hybrid approach.

“There must be a seamless transition between the chatbot interface and connecting with the customer service agent. Also, businesses must aim to collect customer feedback on the experience with the assistance given by the chatbot.

“This helps businesses gauge how satisfied the customers are with the performance of the chatbot, products and services,” she added. – Mint, New Delhi/Tribune News Service

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